The succession game is played to a varying degree by Islam and the Holy see. A series of power grabs, coups and assassinations - all the marks of man made power lust - defines the nature of this superfluous spectacle.
The invented term 'pope' allows for the mantle of power and oligarch to be assumed upon mere mortals indefinitely, designating themselves to be Christ's representative on Earth. Catholics are under the impression that the pope is the unbroken successor of the apostle Peter.
The very concept of a pope is a fabrication. The Eastern Orthodox have their own pope, as do Coptic Christians . This fantastic claim has no support, either by way of common sense, history or biblical doctrine. A catholic historian admits:
'In all the early writings of the hierarchy there is no mention of a special role for the Bishop of Rome, nor yet the special name of `Pope.' . . . Of the eighty or so heresies in the first six centuries, not one refers to the authority of the Bishop of Rome, not one is settled by the Bishop of Rome.... No one attacks the [supreme] authority of the Roman pontiff, because no one has heard of it.'
The first problem to consider is that Peter was never the Bishop of Rome. The father of church history, Eusebius of Caesaria fails to mention Peter as Bishop of Rome.
Peter identified himself as a fellow elder and claimed no primacy (1 Peter 5:1). It was James, not Peter who presided over the first church council in Jerusalem (Acts 15). The appointment of popes has been decided by unholy alliances and violent feuds and political maneuverings that cant possibly be taken seriously.
Pope John XII was murdered when caught in bed with a married woman. John XII is on the official list of popes - denoted as "His holiness, Vicar of Christ."
Stephen VII (896) conducted a posthumous trial of Pope Formosus, found the exhumed corpse guilty of heresy and passed sentence of condemnation, he was however shortly killed by a rival faction . A nineteenth century historian wrote:
"Few papal elections, if any, have been other than simoniacal [bought off for money].... The invention of the Sacred College [of cardinals] has been, on the whole, perhaps the most fertile source of corruption in the Church. Many cardinals went to Rome for the conclave with their bankers"
The clamoring for the throne of Saint Peter reads like a soap opera of every vice and deplorable wickedness and often comedic in its sheer tawdriness and depravity.
At one period (1045) there were 3 self-proclaimed popes simultaneously ruling a portion of Rome with a private army. On behest of Romes citizens, Henry III overthrew the 3 'popes' with his army.
Pope Sergius III was the father of another pope, John XI, and had one, possibly two popes killed to make way for his own tenure as pope. In 904 ce, Serguis III had the corpse of Formosus dug up yet again for a posthumous trial. Sergius III was furious that his guilty verdict had been overturned, he thus had the guilty verdict reinstated and the corpse beheaded.
This trial was later declared invalid as the trial of dead persons was then prohibited. Pope John XII ran a brothel at St John Lateran. He slept with his fathers mistress as well as his mother. The people of Rome became incensed at his behavior and he fled to Tivoli, and was subsequently deposed by a synod.
Some Popes have been declared heretics by other popes. Pope Vigilius (537) stated that he had been deceived by the devil when exiled by the emperor. Pope Honorius (625-38) was condemned as a heretic by the Sixth Ecumenical Council (678-87).
The Council of Constance [ 1414-18] deposed three popes who each claimed to be the one true vicar of Christ and had each "excommunicated" the other two.
ISLAMS dynastic dispute has given us the Sunni - Shiite schism still with us today. This disagreement is not likely to be resolved; 2 of the 4 caliphs after Mohammad's death were killed by fellow Muslims. (End Part 2)